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Structure of Cdc4p, a contractile ring protein essential for cytokinesis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe

TitleStructure of Cdc4p, a contractile ring protein essential for cytokinesis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsSlupsky, CM, Desautels, M, Huebert, T, Zhao, RH, Hemmingsen, SM, McIntosh, LP
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume276
Pagination5943-5951
Date PublishedFeb
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0021-9258
KeywordsBINDING PROTEINS, CALCIUM-SATURATED STATES, ESSENTIAL LIGHT-CHAIN, FISSION YEAST, MYOSIN HEAVY-CHAIN, NUCLEAR-MAGNETIC-RESONANCE, REGULATORY DOMAIN, SCALLOP MYOSIN, TARGETED DISRUPTION, TROPONIN-C
Abstract

The Schizosaccharomyces pombe Cdc4 protein is required for the formation and function of the contractile ring, presumably acting as a myosin light chain. By using NMR spectroscopy, we demonstrate that purified Cdc4p is a monomeric protein with two structurally independent domains, each exhibiting a fold reminiscent of the EF-hand class of calcium-binding proteins. Although Cdc4p has one potentially functional calcium-binding site, it does not bind calcium in vitro. Three variants of Cdc4p containing single point mutations responsible for temperature-sensitive arrest of the cell cycle at cytokinesis (Gly-19 to Glu, Gly-82 to Asp, and Gly-107 to Ser) were also characterized by NMR and circular dichroism spectroscopy. In each case, the amino acid substitution only leads to small perturbations in the conformation of the protein. Furthermore, thermal unfolding studies indicate that, like wild-type Cdc4p, the three mutant forms are all extremely stable, remaining completely folded at temperatures significantly above those causing failure of cytokinesis in intact cells. Therefore, the altered phenotype must arise directly from a disruption of the function of Cdc4p rather than indirectly through a disruption of its overall structure. Several mutant alleles of Cdc4p also show interallelic complementation in diploid cells. This phenomenon can be explained if Cdcp4 has more than one essential function or, alternatively, if two mutant proteins assemble to form a functional complex. Based on the structure of Cdc4p, possible models for interallelic complementation including interactions with partner proteins and the formation of a myosin complex with Cdc4p fulfilling the role of both an essential and regulatory light chain are proposed.

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